The key to a good online marketing campaign is timing, understanding when and how an audience reacts is important when deciding on the campaign strategy.
Seasonality, days of the week and even hours of the day can be analysed and utilised as a way to market more strategically.
Seasonality is obviously crucial in the ecommerce sector where the festive season is known to bring in a great deal of sales. Would you only market online during this time? Absolutely not. A campaign should ideally run all year round even if it is a smaller campaign than during peak seasons. This gives the company an opportunity to see what is working and what isn’t so that changes can be implemented well in advance of the high season. Having a campaign running all year around also gives the consumer some confidence in a brand as they become familiar with their adverts. When advertising on Google for example, the budget is controlled by the advertiser and should be divided amongst the months of the year with an emphasis on extra budget allocations to peak seasons than low seasons. Industries differ in their seasonality and someone in the education sector or selling stationery supplies might have a very quiet December but a bumper January. Analyse sales and enquiries on a year to year basis in order to determine these trends. New businesses or even businesses new to online marketing can utilise this free tool http://www.google.com/trends/ .
Campaign analysis of the days of the week is important to understand as some campaigns perform better during the week than on a weekend. For example, business to business enquiries from a website generally happen during business hours and therefore it is best to have a prominent presence during business hours and scale back the campaign elsewhere. This information can be obtained once a campaign is running, through the specific online avenues such as Google, Bing or Facebook.
With online marketing, it is all in the detail and that is why it is important to look at how your campaign is performing every hour of the day. Some people notice that they have a peak in sales/enquiries around lunchtime and after 7pm at night. With this information in mind, it might be an idea to structure daily budgets to maximise during these peak hours and minimise during the rest of the day. It is not a good idea to switch campaigns off because people might browse in the morning but come back to buy at lunch time or later in the evening.
Much like other marketing campaigns, there are no clear cut ways to run campaigns online. The best way to understand an individual campaign is by testing different timing and to see what performs best. In the case of marketing, everything is timing!